Saturday, November 11, 2006

ChoicePoint: Keeping Your Enemies Close?

Gary Rivlin writes in The New York Times:

In January, the Federal Trade Commission hit ChoicePoint with a $10 million fine, the largest civil penalty in the agency’s history, for security and record-handling procedures that violated the rights of consumers. Under the settlement, it also required ChoicePoint to set aside an additional $5 million to help those suffering financial harm because of its failure to provide adequate safeguards against data breaches.

But the financial penalties were nothing compared to the rehabilitation project confronting this hitherto invisible player in the global marketplace.

For years, ChoicePoint’s top management had assured the world that it carefully protected its databases from intruders: Our systems are bulletproof. Intruder-proof. Believe us.

But then, in February 2005, the company had to acknowledge that it had focused so intently on preventing hackers from gaining access to its computers through digital back doors that it had simply overlooked real-world con artists strolling unnoticed through the front door.

More here.


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